Friends of the Earth backs African COP15 plea

Commenting on today's Africa Group protest at the lack of progress on agreeing new targets for rich countries to slash their emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, Andy Atkins, executive director of Friends of the Earth, said The African countries' protest highlights the dirty tactics of rich countries who are trying to stitch up negotiations to their benefit.

"We support the African countries' demands that rich countries must commit to binding targets to cut their emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2020," he said.

"Wealthy nations are trying to push for a deal which will leave millions of people in the developing world to face the worst effects of catastrophic climate change.

"The informal consultations which the Danish Presidency has organised at the climate talks between rich countries are underhand and undermine negotiations by excluding most developing countries.

"It is rich countries who have caused climate change and they must take responsibility for cutting their emissions first, rather than trying to ditch the Kyoto Protocol, which enshrines this responsibility in international law.

"Wealthy countries must make stronger commitments on cutting emissions and new money for developing countries if we're to break the logjam in negotiations."

NOTE: The Danish Presidency has today proposed "President's informal consultations" which appear to be an attempt to collapse the two negotiating tracks in Copenhagen and abolish the Kyoto Protocol.

Friends of the Earth is demanding that the Government changes its approach to climate change with its Demand Climate Change campaign. The green campaign group is asking everyone to sign its international petition to world leaders for a strong and fair climate deal at www.demandclimatechange.org.

ENDS
Notes to Editors:

At the Copenhagen talks, Friends of the Earth is calling for:

· Rich countries to fulfil their legal and moral responsibility cut
emissions first and fast - and pledge to cut emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2020 at home without offsetting
· The leaders of rich countries to abandon their promotion of carbon
trading - an irresponsible and dangerous gamble which will do nothing to protect us from catastrophic climate change;
· Proposals to be scrapped which would allow rich countries to buy
chunks of forest whilst continuing to pump out emissions: an approach which won't solve climate change or halt deforestation.

Friends of the Earth International is also one of the key organisers of the alternative people's summit known as the Klimaforum with allied organisations such as La Via Campesina and the World March of Women. Thousands of voices demanding climate justice will also be presented in a 'climate capsule'
exhibition at the Klimaforum and Bella Centre.

Friends of the Earth is part of Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, the UK's largest group of people dedicated to action on climate change and limiting its impact on the world's poorest communities.

The coalition's supporter base of more than 11 million people spans over 100 organisations, from environment and development charities to unions, faith, community and women's groups. Together we demand practical action by the UK to keep temperatures well below an average 2 degree rise. For further information visit www.stopclimatechaos.org.

Friends of the Earth believes the environment is for everyone. We want a healthy planet and a good quality of life for all those who live on it. We inspire people to act together for a thriving environment. Over 90 per cent of our income comes from individuals so we rely on donations to continue our vital work. For further information visit www.foe.co.uk.

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COP15 Climate Talks

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